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Robotics: Kiva Systems opens new world headquarters

Company celebrated ribbon-cutting at new 160,000-square-foot facility in North Reading, Mass.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
June 01, 2011

On May 24, Kiva Systems, a developer of mobile-robotic solutions that automate eCommerce order fulfillment and warehouse operations, hosted an official ribbon-cutting ceremony of the company’s new world headquarters in North Reading, Mass.

The new location boasts more than 120,000 square feet of manufacturing, engineering and demonstration space and 40,000 square feet of office space, to better accommodate the company’s growing staff. Development of Kiva’s warehouse automation solution employs hardware and software engineers, professional services engineers, as well as systems design consultants with deep expertise in fulfillment operations. The new location also serves as the primary manufacturing assembly site for the company’s high- tech hardware, which includes robotic drive units, mobile shelves, work stations and chargers.

“I am so proud to support Kiva’s spirit of innovation and applaud its commitment to invest in our workforce by continuing to add jobs in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Kiva is a great story for this region to tell, having relocated its company from Silicon Valley to Massachusetts where they are now manufacturing global exports, and making the Commonwealth internationally competitive in the robotics market.”

“This facility opening signifies our transition from a high-tech startup to a major player in the fast growing eCommerce fulfillment market,” said Mick Mountz, founder and CEO of Kiva Systems. “Our new World Headquarters employs Massachusetts’ finest, from electro-mechanical assemblers to engineers and algorithm designers to solutions consultants as we solve challenges for many of the world’s leading retail and eCommerce companies including Staples, Boston Scientific, Gap and Walgreens.”

Kiva’s innovative approach to warehouse automation uses fleets of robotic drive units that bring inventory on mobile shelves directly to workers, allowing easy and efficient
access to all inventory items at all times. Elimination of operator walking and waiting enables worker productivity that is two- to four-times higher than with other automated systems. What’s more, because all the system components are mobile and modular, a Kiva solution can transform an empty warehouse into a fully automated distribution center in a matter of weeks.

“As a technology driven company, Kiva is relentless about growth and innovation. With our talented and dedicated employees in this new facility, there are no limits to the road ahead,” said Mountz.
Kiva will celebrate the opening of its new facility together with customers, partners, local entrepreneurs, academics, industry analysts and the press. The event will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, remarks made by Kiva’s founder and CEO Mick Mountz followed by a live tour of the manufacturing floor and demos of the mobile-robotic fulfillment solution.

Office Depot: Flexible automation
Mobile robotics is powering Office Depot’s new demand-driven distribution center.

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